By Luke Mehall
After El Capitan, my desire for wall climbing diminished. Perhaps it was growing older, or perhaps it was just my surroundings. The Black Canyon was no longer an hour away. Yosemite was no longer in my waking dreams every day. Durango was so close to the desert, and thus the desert became all that mattered to me in climbing. Just like wall climbing, the desert is a fantastic rabbit hole to go down.
I started to view the desert in a multitude of ways. As a home. As a canvas to paint my art. My own field of dreams where I could return to a childlike state of being, with the hindsight of an adult. A place where I could progress my vision of what it meant to be an American climber.
Above: North Six Shooter, Indian Creek, Utah. Photo: Keith Brett